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344 Pounds: I Count the Calories and Then I Burn ‘Em – Keeping It Simple

VOL #11, Weeks 41 Through 44, My WeightLoss Journey Continues!

Updated: December 6, 2020
Before and after
By MBL Featured Blogger: Shawn Tyler Weeks
Originally Posted: November 1, 2020

Weeks 41 Through 44

Week 41

October 23

Observing Scale and Weight Fluctuations

scale

I lost over a pound after last night’s treadmill workout.

In over an hour (five-minute cooldown) on the treadmill last night I went 4.2 miles and burned nearly 600 calories. When I got home, I weighed myself and had lost 1.2 pounds during the workout.

Most of that from sweating, of course.

Since January I’ve stepped onto my scale probably nearly a thousand times.  Sane or not (not), I typically weigh myself two to three times any given day. 

It’s more of curiosity more than anything, it’s not like I get down or discouraged when I weigh myself and I see I’ve gained two pounds after dinner.

Do I recommend weighing yourself several times a day? Absolutely not, especially if you’re just starting out on your journey. I have touched on this topic before, but if you weigh yourself every day (or multiple times a day) expecting to lose pounds every new weigh-in it simply won’t happen.

It’s a great way to get discouraged and drive yourself crazy. 

Most gains and losses are expected and can easily be explained, while other shifts in weight are more perplexing.

Noticeable scale fluctuations (gains):

  • After a Coke and bag of popcorn at the movies: +7 pounds
  • After a plate of your typical Chinese food: +4 pounds
  • Being constipated: +3 pounds

I weigh myself the most after dinner. Any sizable meal, healthy or not, will be an automatic gain of 1-2 pounds.  

Any restaurant meal with your typical restaurant portions, healthy or not, will be an automatic gain of 2-4 pounds.

Noticeable scale fluctuations (losses):

I weigh myself the least in the morning when I wake up. Overnight, I typically lose between 1-2 pounds which is why I do Wednesday weigh-ins so early.

October 25

Counting Calories 10/18 – 10/24

Here are my calories between October 18 and October 24.

Burger Fries and Ice Cream

Sunday (2,620 calories)

Noon: Steak, potatoes, scrambled eggs (3), pancakes (3), lg. Pepsi = 1,350
3 p.m.: Nature Valley bars (2) = 170
7 p.m.: Big Mac w/ lg. fries, lg. Coke = 1,100

Monday (1,800 calories)

7 a.m.: mini-biscuits w/ butter and jelly (2), Nature’s Valley bars (2) = 430
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
1 p.m.: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (2) = 600
6 p.m.: BLT sandwich (with cheese), Pop Chips = 650

Tuesday (1,730 calories)

7 a.m.: mini-biscuits w/ butter and jelly (4), Nature Valley bars (2) = 430
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: turkey sandwich w/ cheese, mayo, mustard, and pop and chips = 490
4 p.m.: Promax double fudge chocolate 70-calorie bar = 70
6 p.m.: chicken and cheese quesadilla w/ bell peppers/onions (2) = 620

Wednesday (2,400 calories)

7 a.m.: Honey Nut Cheerios, two pieces of toast w/ butter and jelly = 440
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: leftover chicken and cheese quesadillas (2) = 620
5 p.m.: Nature Valley bars (2) = 170
7 p.m.: Ye Ole’ cheeseburger, fries, ice cream, sm. Dr. Pepper = 1,050

Thursday (2,400 calories)

7 a.m.: Honey Nut Cheerios, Nature Valley bars (2) = 430
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: 1/2 order BBQ, white rice w/ hash, coleslaw, hush puppies (2) = 450
6 p.m.: Fatz club sandwich w/ fries, chips w/ salsa, lg. Coke = 1,400

Friday (2,215 calories)

7 a.m.: scrambled eggs (3), bacon (2), bread w/ butter and jelly (2 pieces) = 550
10 a.m.: Nature Valley bars (2) = 170
Noon: Moe’s The Funk Meister x 2 = 660
7 p.m.: Fair food fries, corn dog, 10 ounces of Pepsi = 800
9 p.m.: about 5 ounces of Pepsi = 35

Saturday (2,020 calories)

9 a.m.: Nature Valley bars (2) = 170
Noon: 1/2 order O’Charley’s salmon w/ rice, salad, grilled onions = 800 est.
7 p.m.: Ye Ole’ cheeseburger, fries, ice cream, sm. Dr. Pepper = 1,050

This was the last weekend of the fair, so you won’t see any corn dogs next week.

October 26

Hampton Hill Athletic club

Hampton Hill Athletic Club in Columbia, SC

I witnessed my first The Biggest Loser competition last night.

I was invited by Anne, the owner of Hampton Hill Athletic Club, about a month ago to come and watch their version of The Biggest Loser last night. They have been going since August and wrap up in about a month.

She wanted me to come to check out her gym, the competition, and chat with the participants. I have to say that while I’ve never been a part of a competition like The Biggest Loser, I was really impressed.  

Anne asked me to participate in the physical part of last night’s challenge, running two miles (outside), and there was no way I could turn that down. If you recall, last Thursday I ran two miles in about 30 minutes.

Sunday night during the challenge: about 23 minutes.

My first mile was something like 10 minutes and 30 seconds. The second mile was uphill for a little bit and I was definitely dragging.  

I was surprised that my first “real” outdoor run had a faster mile than I’ve ever accomplished on the treadmill. I quickly realized why — I had people running in front of me and people running behind me, all trying to reach the same place.

We were holding each other accountable.

I had such a great experience, not only participating in the competition and talking to the folks but with the gym itself. So much that I joined before I left.

Starting tonight, I’ll be going to Hampton Hill Athletic Club.

October 28 

I feel like I’m on Sherman’s march through the 20s.

October 28 weight: 220.6

October 21 weight: 222.4

October 14 weight: 223.4

October 07 weight: 222.6

September 30 weight: 223.6

I’ve lost 1.8 pounds in the last week and 123.6 pounds in 40 weeks. 

I don’t care how long it takes me to reach 219 pounds and my final goal of 194 pounds. I just know I will. It could take another 40 weeks for all I care.

I don’t reckon it will, though.

“I don’t care how long it takes me to reach 219 pounds and my final goal of 194 pounds. I just know I will.”

Shawn Tyler Weeks – 344 Pounds, A Weightloss Journey

Image Gallery

Week 42

October 30

Nike Shox Turbo Running Shoes

Daddy’s got a new pair of (running) shoes.

I’ve needed new running shoes since July, after literally running through my old Nike Katanas

After seeking advice from readers, reading countless reviews of running shoes online, browsing local shoe stores, and contacting Nike, Adidas, and New Balance directly, I decided to settle on these babies:

Meet my new running shoes: Nike Shox Turbos

I was and am extremely disappointed in the shoe stores, both national chains and mom and pops, that I visited locally.  

Living in Columbia, South Carolina, doesn’t give you a whole lot of options, to begin with, but the stores I did visit were disappointing. Service and selection were both poor and I couldn’t find anybody in the area (or within 100 miles) that performed gait analysis.

After looking at local shoe stores for nearly three months I stopped looking offline and went online. I finally pulled the trigger last week and bought these Nike Shox Turbos from a nice lady on eBay for $79.95 with free shipping.

No sales tax, either.

November 1

Counting Calories 10/25 – 10/31

Here are my calories between October 25 and October 31.
Sunday (2,190 calories)
Noon: Sushi, rice, egg rolls (2), egg drop soup, chicken = 1,600 est.
6 p.m.: sm. serving of chicken pot pie = 590

Monday (1,650 calories)

7 a.m.: Fruit Loops w/ Nature Valley bars (2) = 460
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: 1/2 serving (leftovers) of barbeque (pork, coleslaw, hash) = 450
6 p.m.: chicken and cheese quesadilla w/ bell peppers/onions (2) = 620

Tuesday (1,810 calories)

7 a.m.: Fruit Loops w/ 2 small blueberry bagels = 490
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: 1/2 serving (leftovers) of O’Charley’s salmon and rice = 600 est.
6 p.m.: chicken and cheese quesadilla (2), handful of chips/salsa (2) = 780

Wednesday (1,850 calories)

7 a.m.: Fruit Loops w/ 2 slices of bread w/ cinnamon and sugar = 410
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: Bourbon Street chicken w/ rice and veggies = 450
6 p.m.: 3 Pizza Hut medium pepperoni pizza slices = 870

Thursday (1,790 calories)

7 a.m.: Lucky Charms, Nature Valley bars (2) = 450
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: 2 Pizza Hut medium pepperoni pizza slices = 580
6 p.m.: grilled chicken w/ jack cheese, onions/peppers w/ southwest corn = 640

Friday (2,740 calories)

7 a.m.: 4-egg omelet w/ onions/peppers and salsa = 390
10 a.m.: Nature Valley bars (2) = 170
1 p.m.: chicken gyro on a warm pita, salad, sm. Dr. Pepper = 780
6 p.m.: Fatz chicken fingers w/ fries, lg. Coke = 1,400 est.

Saturday (2,910 calories)

8 a.m.: a heaping bowl of Lucky Charms = 400
Noon: Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, waffle fries, lg. Dr. Pepper = 990
5 p.m.: ice cream sandwich = 180
7 p.m.: 12 buffalo chicken wings, can of Coke = 1,340

I enjoy making food at home. My wife and I both love the chicken and cheese quesadillas I make at home. A little bit of cheese and a lot of chicken, grilled onions and peppers goes a long way.  

The tortilla is 120 calories, so it’s important to only have a couple.

November 2

Fat Jeans vs. Skinny Jeans

I’m marching through the 220s. And pant sizes.

Here are my old “fat” jeans overshadowing my new 34-inch pants:

These skinny khakis (no jeans at all, I suppose) were bought at Target just this last weekend. 

It’s amazing — cheaper and more convenient — to buy clothes at Target. Or Belk. Or American Eagle. Or any store or department for that matter that doesn’t have Big and Tall in its name.

I’ve lost 14 inches off my waist in the last 40 weeks of my weight loss journey. I’ve gone from wearing 48-inch waist pants in January to wearing pants with a 34-inch waist.

And we’ve got 26.4 pounds left to go.

November 4 

I just reached the sea.

November 04 weight: 219.4

October 28 weight: 220.6

October 21 weight: 222.4

October 14 weight: 223.4

October 7 weight: 222.6

I’ve lost 1.2 pounds in the last week and 124.8 pounds in 41 weeks. 

Goodbye, twenties. Hello, teens.

Don’t mind me, I’m just passing by.

Week 43

November 6

344 pounds vs. 219 pounds

What does it look like to lose 125 pounds?

I realized some time ago that the best motivation to lose weight wasn’t relayed by typing on my keyboard — but by posting two simple pictures side by side.

Not only do before and after pictures motivate other people (my weight loss pictures page is by far the most visited on my site), but they motivate me as well. The before shots remind me why I started running.

The after shots motivate me to keep running.

November 8

Counting Calories 11/1 – 11/7

I’m thinking about starting a separate Twitter account so that I can update my calories from the road via Twitter — what are some thoughts on that?

Sunday (2,480 calories)

8 a.m.: three slices of French Toast w/ syrup = 520
Noon: heaping bowl of chili w/ onions, cheese, crackers = 620
5 p.m.: Zaxby’s chicken finger platter w/ large Dr. Pepper = 1,340

Monday (1,410 calories)

7 a.m.: Honey Smacks cereal = 260
10 a.m.: scoop of vanilla whey protein isolate = 110
Noon: heaping bowl of chili w/ 10 saltine crackers = 490
6 p.m.: Chicken Florentine w/ buttered bread = 550

Tuesday (1,660 calories)

7 a.m.: egg omelet (4) w/ cheese, onions, peppers = 400
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: heaping bowl of chili w/ 10 saltine crackers = 490
6 p.m.: hot dog w/ ketchup/mustard/onions, potato salad, beans = 650

Wednesday (2,510 calories)

7 a.m.: Lucky Charms cereal, mini blueberry bagel = 430
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: turkey sandwich w/ mustard, mayo, cheese, Pop Chips = 530
6 p.m.: Applebee’s fiesta lime chicken, lg. Pepsi = 1430

Thursday (2,540 calories)

7 a.m.: bacon (2), scrambled eggs (3), toast w/ jelly = 360
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: California Dreaming Shrimp Po Boy w/ sweet tea (1 refill) = 1,420
6 p.m.: cheeseburger (on toast), potato salad, baked beans = 640

Friday (2,220 calories)

7 a.m.: Lucky Charms, Nature Valley bars (2) = 390
10 a.m.: large banana = 120
Noon: heaping bowl of chili, mashed potatoes = 660
6 p.m.: Ye Ole’ cheeseburger, fries, ice cream, sm. Dr. Pepper = 1050

Saturday (2,480 calories)

9 a.m.: vanilla whey protein shake w/ oreos = 160
Noon: Big Mac w/ lg. fries, lg. Coke = 1,350
4 p.m.: Teddy Grahams (1 pack) = 120
7 p.m.: IHOP’s 3 pancakes, hash browns, bacon (2) = 850

I consumed more calories this week, but I’m still burning much more than 2,000-2,500 calories a day with my intense cardio sessions at the gym.

The scale is still moving down…

Can we reach 217 pounds this Wednesday?

November 10 

Total Body Training (TBT) Class

Laura from Hampton Hill invited me to try out the Total Body Training class she teaches a couple of Saturday mornings a month.

I took her up on her offer without knowing what to expect. I waltz into my first TBT class this past Saturday morning thinking I’d be fit enough to do whatever Total Body Training asked of me.  

After meeting with Laura, another lady (never got her name) took me to some secret back alley in the room where I had to find my equipment for the day: 

  • plastic ironing board looking thing
  • massive plastic blocks that elevated the ironing board looking thing
  • light, medium, heavy dumbbells

Quickly scanning the room I realized I looked a little out of place — first, I was overweight. Second, I was a boy.

After quickly setting up my “workout station” and putting the plastic ironing board looking thing on top of a couple of the plastic lego-block things the class began.  

Laura took the stage in front of the class and started excitedly giving out commands. 

I can remember that we started with holding our hands out in the air, stretching them as high as we could to the ceiling — but after that the entire hour of Total Body Training is a blur.

I’d love to be able to tell you that I was able to keep up with the other 25 women or so in the class, or that I put up a good fight, but I didn’t.  

The class was a mixture of yoga, stretching, cardio, weight training — may be a “total” body workout, one might say? The class’s name quickly became apparent.

Here are just a few things we did in Total Body Training:

  • Stretches
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-Ups
  • Curls
  • Marches
  • Jumping Jacks

Again, I would like to say that the guy who lost 125 pounds in the past 41 weeks and spent three hours doing cardio at the gym just a few months ago put up the good fight — but I didn’t.  

I even had to leave the class midway through to refill my water bottle. I have a huge amount of respect for the women in that class and my abs, arms and thighs are still sore today from TBT.

What did I learn from Total Body Training on Saturday? Well, two things. First, it’s important to not keep doing exercises that your body is “comfortable” with.

Yes, running on the treadmill is hard for me, but my body is accustomed to the motions and “knows” how to run. It’s important to keep my body challenged so I keep getting more fit.

November 11 

Somehow, I’ve managed to lose 125 pounds.

November 11 weight: 218.6

November 04 weight: 219.4

October 28 weight: 220.6

October 21 weight: 222.4

October 14 weight: 223.4

I’ve lost 0.8 pounds in the last week and 125.6 pounds in 42 weeks. 

I want to type it again: I’ve lost 125 pounds in 42 weeks of my weight loss journey. Forget weeks, just the sheer fact I’ve managed to lose 125 pounds period is hard to believe.

You’ll notice I’m not weighing in on my old Escali scale.  During the weekend I woke up and it was non-responsive — while it does have a 5-year warranty, I can’t go without weighing myself for weeks while it’s being repaired/replaced.  

I hated to see her go, but I just decided to go out and buy a new digital scale, a Healthometer “contemporary design” (glass) scale.

I love it: I step on it. It gives me my weight. It works.

I know some of you are struggling with your weight loss and whatever number you’re trying to lose may seem insurmountable. But trust me, it’s not. I had to start at week one, just like you. Our goals and methods may differ, that’s it.

“I’ve lost 14 inches off my waist in the last 40 weeks. I’ve gone from wearing 48-inch waist pants in January to wearing pants with a 34-inch waist.”

Shawn Tyler Weeks – 344 Pounds, A Weightloss Journey

Week 44

November 13 

Gym Cardio Workout Routine

My current cardio workout routine consists of running. And some climbing on the StairMaster. Occasionally, I go for a nice bike ride for a few miles. When feeling nostalgic, I work a nice 20-minute elliptical workout into the mix.

Not always, but sometimes, the length of my gym visit depends on how “well” (few calories) I ate during the day. If I ate well, I might stay at the gym for only 20 minutes. On the other hand, if I made poor choices throughout the day my cardio workout might last nearly an hour.

It’s safe to say my workout routine varies.

While I don’t have a routine per se, I do have a couple of guidelines. The guidelines that I’ve set forth for my gym workout routines are as follows:

  • Four days a week
  • At least 20 minutes

That’s it. That doesn’t mean I go four days a week for 20 minutes like some might perceive, that simply means that on some rainy random Tuesday when I have a migraine, miss my daughter, and simply want to call it a night I can put in my 20 minutes and leave.  

If I want to go out that Friday night with friends, I can skip the gym and meet my four-day-a-week requirement.

While I know a lot of (not all) people have been asking for my gym cardio workout routine lately so they can copy it and make it their own, I simply don’t have one you can print out and take with you.

If there is any advice I can give you about cardio, it’d be this:

Sweat.

November 14

Using Twitter to Count Calories

I’m done counting calories on 344 Pounds. I found a new way to count and track the calories I consume on a daily basis: tweets through Twitter.

Find me at twitter.com/344food

After a week of posting tweets of what I eat during the day, I’m more than confident I’ll stick to using Twitter as a food log indefinitely.

I post my calories consumed nearly live — usually right after a meal. It’s not that much of a hassle since I can tweet calories through my phone, email, or directly on Twitter.com and it has honestly been the easiest method of tracking calories I’ve tried.  

I’ve tested all the typical calorie counters online and on my phone and I just want something simple, easily accessible, and free.

November 16

Running a Mile in Under 10 Minutes

While it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion, I do expect to lose 150 pounds.  I don’t expect to do it within 12 months (by January 15), but I do expect for me to keep losing weight and eventually reach 194 pounds.

In the meantime I have a new goal: run a mile in 10 minutes by December 18.

Running a mile in 10 minutes, or under 10 minutes, is pretty much the (running) requirement for any sort of military training, law enforcement, high school fitness test, etc. I’m sure this varies state by state and decade by decade, but that’s pretty much what I’ve always known it to be:

One mile in 10 minutes and you’re in.

While I’m not going to become a South Carolina State Trooper anytime soon, I would still like to be as physically fit as one (the new recruits, anyway). This starts with lasting on a treadmill for 10 minutes at 6 miles per hour.

Once (if) I can meet this goal, I’ll start making new goals and decrease the time to nine minutes, eight minutes, etc. and also start bumping the incline, duration, and distance.  

I’ll also switch from the treadmill to the outdoors. All of this training will eventually lead to my first 10k race in March.

Let’s take it one step at a time, though, no horrible pun intended.

November 18 

I’ll keep liking my new scale as long as it keeps giving me numbers like these.

November 18 weight: 217.2

November 11 weight: 218.6

November 04 weight: 219.4

October 28 weight: 220.6

October 21 weight: 222.4

I’ve lost 1.4 pounds in the last week and 127 pounds in 43 weeks. 

The scale is getting so low these days it’s surreal. One hundred twenty-seven pounds lost? That’s such an ungodly number, and I have no idea how that scale reads 217.2 pounds.

Not much change in my lifestyle to report this week (well, other than the fact I’ve lost 117 pounds). I’m exercising 20 to 40 minutes a night, making sure I run my three minutes at six mph.  

I’m trying to stay under 2,000 calories on the weekdays and around (preferably under) 2,500 Friday and Saturday.

That’s pretty much the plan until the end.

Comment Below

How many calories are you consuming a day? Are you keeping track? 

Comments

Author

Author Details
Shawn Tyler Weeks
MyBigLife.com
Shawn Typer Weeks - creator of 344 Pounds website.

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